LOS ANGELES, CA- I don’t care what anybody says. Imagine Dragons “live” is just what post-pandemic music fans need right now. Especially those fans still hesitant to engage with large crowds in huge venues.
After the past couple of years of … how do I say this so not to offend… “crap” that we’ve all had to deal with, and all of the political and societal … again… “crap” that we’re currently seeing in the news every day, we could all use more friendly and comforting words of encouragement from our peers, reminding us that we are all perfect as we are and sometimes we just need to let it all go and be in the moment. Dan Reynolds and company gave the crowd at Crypto.com arena plenty of those moments and made us leave all of our “crap” at the door.
Imagine Dragons have been dropping anthemic rock songs since their inception. With five studio albums under their belt, and tons of gold, platinum, and diamond single to boot, there’s no denying the fact that, despite whatever haters may interject, the world loves Imagine Dragons and their music.
With their chart-topping repertoire in tow, in support of their latest release, Mercury, Imagine Dragons gave the Los Angeles crowd a little bit of everything, including their soul, to their adoring fans.
Though they started their performance with a cut from Mercury, “My Life”, their 24-song set only consisted of only 6 other songs from their latest release (“Follow You”, “Lonely”, “Wrecked”, “One Day”, “It’s Ok”, “Enemy”). Of course, when you are headlining an arena crowd, you need to cater to the audience and give them what they want (the hits), but there were a handful of songs I wish they would have performed, especially given some of the talking points that Dan made during the show. Personally, I would have loved to hear “No Time For Toxic People” and “#1”.
While there was certain “new” songs that I would have loved to hear live, I can’t fault them for any of that. In fact, the couldn’t have been better. In fact, Crypto.com Arena got the “LA” treatment. Being one of the world’s celebrity hubs, I kind of anticipated that we would be privy to a few special surprises.
One of those special surprises was when Rob McElhenny and Kaitlin Olson gave a comedic performance of “Follow You” (Rob and Kaitlin were both in the official music video for the track). Another surprise was when JID came on stage to perform his part on “Enemy”. That cameo caught me off guard because I thought JID living in Georgia.
But even more than the music was the messaging that Dan gave to the crowd. While he’s probably given every city variations of the messages he gave to us… even though he was speaking to over 20,000 people… the words that Dan espoused felt intimately personal. Whether he was openly discussing his history with mental health and encouraging those in distress to seek a therapist or personally reflecting on the loss of loved ones, the words that Dan spoke felt authentic and pure. No filter.
While the audience surely purchased tickets to hear hits like “Radioactive” and “Demons”, we got more than our monies worth because not only did we get treated to some amazing music, but we got a little bit of therapy, musical and otherwise, as well. Amongst the big, bombastic bangers, we also got lots of heart and tons of vulnerability, and I think that contrast made me personally feel a lot more human and grounded than if all they did was “play the hits”.
Imagine Dragons allowed me to live in that moment… their moment … to appreciate the grandeur spectacle while also acknowledging the importance of individuality and self.
As an aside, in case fans were too wrapped up in what was going on on stage, later in the evening when second and third rounds of confetti shot into the air, there were batches of confetti that contained original printed artwork from the band. On these pieces of confetti had a message from Dan. I’ll leave you with this:
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